Publisher: Just Flight
Conington, or Peterborough/ConingtonAerodrome (XHV), is a privately owned airfield located near thevillages of Holme and Conington, in the UK county of Cambridgeshire.Its history dates back to World War II, when it was built as RAFGlatton, by the 809th United States Army Corps of Engineers. Onceconstructed, it then housed no less than the magnificent B-17 FlyingFortress bombers of the 457th Bombardment Group. Later on, theairfield was then passed to RAF Bomber Command.
Its subsequent history is unclear but we do know that a controltower was eventually built in 1995, then in 2000 the airfield changedownership and it was renamed Peterborough Business Airport. It is nowhome to Flying Club Conington, and has a flying school, engineeringand full airfield service including fuel.
On first loading up the scenery, my first impression was thatConington was in keeping with its rural surroundings; simple yetfunctional, small and uncluttered. A closer comparison using GoogleMaps then confirmed how accurately each road and each building waslaid out. The developers have even included the accurate placement ofbins and barrels, picnic benches and a shed! The only thing I foundmissing was the wind sock, but who hasn't ever lost a sock!
Moving on to the buildings themselves, we all know they areaccurately placed but do they resemble the real thing? Well, yes,they do, even down to the number of windows on the roof of the flightschool. Also present is the Flying Club Conington sign on the side ofthe school. I especially like the added nod to the 457th Bomb Groupas well as the 748th, 749th, 750th, 751st squadrons. Each buildinghas been modelled exactly how it looks in real life, so when you areflying in your sim, you are getting an exact representation (withinlimitations) of what the airfield looks like. They have even givenlife to the conservatory lounge of the flying club, so rather thanfeeling like you're looking at an empty building devoid of life, itlooks like you've arrived between meals! Look up and you'll seesomeone has even left a fan in the window.
Textures And Objects
It's nice to see that the textures are also accurate, from thedetailed brickwork on the flying club to the peeling paint on thehangar doors of Aerolease Engineering. Of course, the surroundingsalways have an impact on everything and this is something Just Flighthave not forgotten. They have well placed field and farmlandtextures, and pan out and you will even see a nearby propertysurrounded by trees and more fields. This, for those of you who areinterested, are stables.
As far as objects are concerned, aside from the buildings andairport-related objects such as fuel tanks and control tower, thereisn't much else. Perhaps it's a Sunday morning and everyone is stillat church. Whilst this is meant to be a small, quiet airfield, a fewstatic planes or people would have made the place feel a bit morelively. That being said, the distinct lack of objects does not takeaway from the scenery because it pairs up nicely with the airfield'squiet status.
As expected of any airfield of this type and age, the asphaltrunway is well-worn and cracked in places. There is even a longerthan usual run-off area at one end of the runway. This goes back tothe airfield's RAF days, but it is no longer used.
With my current specs, the scenery runs lovely and smooth on mymachine, although the optional 3D grass may slow it down for some.Due to the scenery being relatively light on objects, there are noanimations, but for me that is not something I would want to see.After all, this is a small, old English airfield so not such excitementis necessary! This is good news for those of you with slightly oldermachines because it means you are unlikely to have problems runningthis scenery.
On downloading this scenery package, you will find a small manualin PDF form included in the Windows "Start" menu. Its design is inkeeping with the old English feel and is well-written, with enoughinformation to get you interested, but not so much that you decide youcan't be bothered to read it! All-in-all it is fourteen pages longand it covers installation, updates and support, a walk-around,airfield information, and a configuration tool. The final page liststhe credits and copyright details.
Conington also features a configuration tool where you can enable3D grass (as seen in the screen shots), and whether you want to usethe scenery with FTX products from Orbx.
If you want to explore Conington for yourself, the admission fee is$12.99 USD (£8.99). Okay, you may only be getting a smallairfield, with few surplus objects and a missing sock, but for thequality of its accuracy, the cost is well worth it. The manual too isa nice addition to your bag of goodies, as are the high framerates.
A penny for my thoughts? No? Well, it was worth a try. Lookslike I'm not going to get rich on pennies today after all, but I'lltell you my thoughts anyway...
If you like crowds and bustling airports, you will get very boredwith this one. However, if you're like me and you prefer somethingsmall and quaint, something that has no queues (anywhere!) and only ahandful of people (admittedly missing), this is definitely a sceneryworth considering. If you keep in mind that this is supposed to be asmall airfield, with very little happening, then you will not bedisappointed.
For myself personally, what I really liked about this scenery, wasJust Flight's attention to accuracy (something us Brits are renownedfor)...and this is clear to see when viewing the finer details of theground objects.
Always one for a bargain, the asking price of £8.99 is veryreasonable, even more so if smaller airfields are what you're into.
So should you purchase this scenery?
This scenery may not be the biggest, and it most certainly lacksbling, but like the old English gentleman who always opens the doorfor a lady, it has a lot going for it. Given my dislike of crowds,and any kind of hustle and bustle, I think it is a lovely littleairfield, and if you take it at face value, I believe you will enjoythis scenery too.
Conington is a gem, a little piece of quiet solitude in the Englishcountryside.
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